After agonizing over it for a while (like twenty minutes on and off throughout the day) I’ve decided to get something old out of the way, because I’m sick of looking it on my list. :-) And because it makes a nice lead-in to a new anime.
So, here I am, at last reviewing the second volume of the Kannazuki no Miko anime. It practically seems like ancient history at this point, a thought which is funnier to me than it ought to be, but I’m going to chalk it up to the fact that my body thinks it’s 4AM right now. ^_^
So, in Volume 2 of Kannazuki no Miko, we are treated to the back histories of the two who are competing for Himeko’s love: Souma and Chikane. We learn, mostly through flashbacks, of Souma’s tragic and difficult past; and why the Orochi’s first neck, Tsubasa, has issues about Souma particularly. Chikane’s past and personality are fleshed out a bit through the admittedly biased eyes of her adoring maid Otoha. In both cases, we are meant to admire the strength and kindness of the character. Which works.
What each story also reveals is the true nature of the Orochi – obsession turned to mania, obsessions that use flawed logic to further the plot. And here is where the story simply is not good. I know no one cares. But I really watched this volume carefully to try and pinpoint the things that make this such a train wreck of a story. It had to be in *this* volume and no other, because the anime is so short.
Here is the first flawed logic that leads up to an inexplicable decision. Tsubasa: “I killed our abusive father to protect you, my brother. I then let you be taken from me to give you a chance at a happy life, while I resigned myself to a life of hardship. Now that I have the power of the Orochi, I want you to give up your happy life that I strived for, in order to be evil with me…or failing that I will kill you, or force you to kill me. If you kill me, you will still be taken over by the evil blood within us.”
I will grant that KnM is A) a fantasy; B) a short anime; C) crap, but even so, this simply makes no sense. And that is not even taking into consideration that no one we defeat stays defeated (or that the end of the story will negate any power the threat of “Orochi” has.)
That’s just the one story. The other is this: Sister Miyako forces Chikane to see her own feelings for Himeko for what they actually are – physical attraction, desire. It is sensible to me, having been in a similar situation, to see Chikane leap through hoops to deny this. It is also sensible that she will not just accept her feelings. It’s damned hard when you have no models or mores that make it “okay.” (One of the many reasons I live my life in the open and why being out is genuinely so important here in the real world. If Chikane had a pair of happy, openly gay aunts or cousins or something, then she’d have no cause to angst over her feelings half as much.)
I can make it work that Orochi infiltrates Chikane’s brain through this crack. I can do that, because I’m an imaginative, creative person. If I had written the story, I would have done that visibly, so the viewers could actually see it happening. Instead, we suddenly go from a Chikane who desires Himeko but denies it, to a Chikane apparently mad with Orochi and obsession. Sure – we can make it work. But I resent being asked to do so. You wrote the damn story – you make it work.
Here’s my understanding of Chikane’s logic: I desire you, but that’s disgusting. Therefore I am disgusting. Therefore I am evil. Therefore I am Orochi, since Orochi is the embodiment of evil and perversion of all that is good and light, i.e. you. I have remembered our true history, and can see that you do not. Under the pretext of trying to bring back your memory, I will do something horrible to you so that you will hate me (and the Orochi I claim to be part of) and will want to defeat it (and me) thus saving yourself. If I save you in that way, the ends justify the means, and I condemn myself to the eternal punishment I deserve anyway for being so vile.
If you follow that, you are probably certifiable. Or 15.
When Chikane’s resolve to be punished fails, her logic, which is already flawed, gets more complex and inexplicable, but I’ll save that for next volume.
So, in my attempt to understand Volume 2 as a real story, I come up with these two conclusions: 1) Obsessions are bad and 2) Obsessed people make bad decisions.
Now, if you ignore the fact that much of the story makes no sense, it’s a pretty good volume. LOL Lots of giant robot fighting, bickering among the female Orochi which is marginally amusing, and lots of Himeko service. We pretty much get to see Himeko in every possible kind of dishabille, for both good and ill. Souma takes the lead in the “Get Himeko” contest, but if it weren’t for Chikane’s insanity, she might have pulled even. Instead, she forces the issue in the infamous lesbian rape scene, making yet another bad rap for us Yurizoku.
More interesting to me was the scene involving Sister Miyako’s mental rape of Chikane, using a mirror image of Himeko. It’s pretty much the key moment in Chikane’s snapping. I liked the mindfuck going on – and Sister Miyako, who doesn’t look like any nun, anywhere, ever, was worth it. ^_^;
Art – 7
Story – 5 (Let’s face it, without the lesbian element, hardly anyone would have watched this)
Characters – 6
Yuri – A very nasty 7
Service – 7
Overall – 6
Remember evil Chikane. You’ll be meeting her again soon.